According to CNBC’s Christina Farr there are numerous underlying drivers of this outdated mindset, including the fact that “some older doctors are comfortable with these technologies and don’t want to let them go.” But when you consider the work that is required to translate healthcare information received via fax into a computer-readable format—and then multiply that by hundreds of thousands of patients, doctors, and other stakeholders—the scope of healthcare’s digital transformation problem is clear.
Many vendors are attempting to address this problem via the cloud, and this was a popular trend at HIMSS 2019. Forbes recently provided a detailed summary of many other key event takeaways, including:
- An increased spotlight on price transparency: Rising healthcare costs are forcing a conversation about price transparency, and healthcare organizations will be expected to be much more forthcoming about what a patient will have to pay for various procedures and appointments.
- Consumerization of healthcare: Wearables have already introduced a consumer dimension into healthcare, and the trend will continue as more artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning innovations come to market. According to Forbes, we can expect genetic testing to also impact healthcare delivery and “usher in a new realm of individualized care, where a patient’s genetic makeup is used to select the best medication or therapy.”
- Data sharing: The most recent ONC and CMS announcements will certainly engender more data sharing. Many HIMSS discussions also focused on blockchain, and how the technology could be used to remove redundancy and friction points. As Forbes puts it, “This may take much of the record-keeping burden off the patient and provide physicians with greater visibility into the patient’s full history of care, ultimately leading to higher quality care and improved outcomes.”
It’s true that these and other healthcare technology changes won’t happen quickly or easily. But we’re living in a digital world and the expectation for healthcare organizations to be digitally savvy will only grow—so it’s imperative that companies successfully navigate these challenges today.